In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July as “National Ice Cream Month”. For that, I thank him, because there are few things on this Earth I enjoy more than ice cream. This nation-wide holiday inspired me to look into the history of ice cream. Read below to find out how it became a treat I, and many others, can’t imagine living without.
Origins of Ice Cream
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, origins date back to the second century B.C., without a specific date or inventor. There is much speculation and many different theories on the definite origin. However, in the United States, the discovery is more clear. In 1744, the first official account in the U.S. comes from a letter written by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen. For the first few decades, ice cream was most often enjoyed on rare occasions by the elite. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are noted in history as early adopters of the dessert.
It wasn’t until 1851, more than 100 years after it was first mentioned in America, that ice cream was industrialized. Jacob Fussell, a Baltimore dairyman, is noted as the “Father of the Ice Cream Industry”. Fussell opened the first ice cream factory in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, after having a surplus. With technological advancements, he was able to produce, then ship his product by train to Baltimore. Business boomed for the dairyman, thus paving the way for industry as we know it.
Today, our country produces 1.5 billion gallons of frozen dairy products each year, with two-thirds being regular ice cream, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. This means nearly 10% of all milk produced is used for making the treat. You can find variations of this delicious dessert at supermarkets, restaurants, or specialty ice cream stores across the country. Click here to find a list of the best independent shops in the Metro Detroit Area.
It is impossible to deny the ever-growing popularity of ice cream. Just last week, we were able to have some delivered to our office through a promotion from uber, the app that connects smartphone users with drivers nearby. New flavors, products, and promotions seem to be constantly popping up. As the industry continues to grow, loyal ice cream lovers, like myself, will continue our commitment to a life full of happiness eating the creamy frozen dessert!
Whether you prefer the traditional vanilla, popular chocolate chip cookie dough, or (my personal favorite) the Midwest sensation, superman, we can all agree the world is a better place because of ice cream. If it wasn’t, there would be an ENTIRE month dedicated to it. So, before the month of July ends and we move onto “National Catfish Month” or “National Eye Exam Month“, be sure to grab a cone, bowl, or even a gallon of your favorite flavor to celebrate!
Which type of ice cream do you enjoy most? Leave a comment and let us know, we’re always looking to try something new.